Over the summer, the Vanguard reported that the Davis Innovation Center, which officially “paused” its development process in the spring of 2015, is considering moving up to Woodland where they will have significantly less in the way of obstacles and open arms from the city council.
In an article in the Daily Democrat from September 15, the Woodland General Plan process seems to be moving along smoothly and relatively without contention.
The paper reports, “Adding significantly to the job base could also occur under a plan to build a 2 million-square-foot research park at the intersection of County Road 25A and Hwy. 113, which has been on the boards for the last year, but won’t go forward until the General Plan is in place.”
The paper continues, “Developers of the research park initially considered Davis, were rebuffed in their efforts there and thus turned their attention to Woodland.”
While “rebuffed” is the wrong word, the efforts ran into obstacles. Immediately, neighbors to the north in Binning Tract, not even part of the city proper, started to complain about a potential project between them and the city of Davis.
The Vanguard has learned from well-placed sources that a big part of the problem for this project, as well as the Mace Ranch Project, was a means to finance the project without housing.
Without the constraints of Measure R or requirements of no mixed-use housing, Woodland might be a much easier destination and the location is just five miles further up the road from UC Davis.
Notes the Daily Democrat, “The proposal has drawn praise from the council. (Mayor Tom Stallard) in particular stress(ed) the number of new jobs – estimated at several hundred – that could materialize.”
“We don’t have anything like this in Woodland,” he said. “The fact that three big plans for Davis have collapsed… We have a shot and I couldn’t be more grateful.”
While the project, comprised of 2 million square feet of research park space, better generate more than several hundred new jobs, the point remains that Woodland is figuring to capitalize on the failures of Davis.
Meanwhile, Woodland continues its plan to move closer to Davis.
An article from September 17 notes, “Growing east of County Road 102 farther than Costco has been deemed over the years as too much a risk due to the potential for flooding because the acreage is in and adjacent to the Yolo Bypass…”
Instead, Woodland “has focused housing and other development to the south of Gibson Road and west of CR-102 — an area which encompasses land on both sides of Hwy. 113.”
Already there is a joke that developments along Road 102 constitute “north North Davis” – if Woodland continues to head southward, the distance between the two could be diminished.
One of our readers suggests that Woodland could be the means by which Davis’ growth “problem” is resolved, provided the needed housing for UC Davis continues to expand, and Woodland would prosper with the technology transfer that could have and should have gone to Davis.
Davis under this scenario would not be forced to expand its borders or provide new housing for UC Davis students and faculty. Of course, the traffic impacts on Davis will continue, as more traffic comes down Pole Line Road from Road 102 and down 113 to UC Davis.
Davis would get the impacts from this development, without new revenue from economic development or a means to fund its infrastructure or provide services.
This is the problem that we face. The rest of the region is waiting to capitalize on our inactions. Already the loss of two innovation parks and Nishi’s defeat is being seen, with Woodland waiting to take advantage.
Woodland, Dixon and West Sacramento probably benefit from Davis’ lack of retail as well – with tax leakage continuing.
But many in Davis do not seem alarmed at these developments, even as our ability to keep basic services and infrastructure increasingly gets taxed.
—David M. Greenwald reporting